The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw huge influxes of immigrants from Eastern Europe, many of whom were skilled in the textile and tailoring trades. This, combined with the growth of the ready-made clothing industry, gave rise to a fashion for quilts pieced from remnants of coarse and fine woven suiting woolens. This example is a late interpretation of the nineteenth-century Crazy quilt. It does not display the rich jewel-tone velvets, brocades, and silks embellished with extravagant embroidery that were typical of the earlier Crazy quilts. Instead, it is a subdued study in monochromatic shades of black and dark colors, punctuated by a “road map” of light-color embroidery that traces across the surface.
Stacy C. Hollander, "Ella Crazy Quilt," exhibition label for Jubilation|Rumination: Life, Real and Imagined. Stacy C. Hollander, curator. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2012.